Mumbai: The Arctic is much more than polar bears, icebergs or auroras. Spectacular photos of Arctic region of Canada are now being showcased in India, a country that has been recently granted observer status at the Arctic Council.
A five-day exhibition "Accessible Arctic" curated jointly by the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian Geographic (CG) begins today at High Street Phoenix here.
The show has been organised by the Consulate General of Canada which aims to provide locals an insight into the extreme and distant Arctic.
"The timing of this exhibit marks India`s newly granted observer status at the Arctic Council recognising, among other things, India`s demonstrated Arctic interests and expertise. Canada as Chair of the Arctic Council welcomes India to this important global body," Richard Bale, Consul General for Canada to Mumbai, said in a statement.
Photographs range from flowers to fields of grazing caribou to icebergs and polar bears.
The images have been captured over a period of eighty years and the exhibition itself has travelled to places like London, Belgium, Stockholm, Port of Spain, Riga (Latvia), Warsaw, Sydney, Berlin, Bucharest, Wellington, Santo Domingo, Washington and Seoul among others.
A picture from the November-December 1997 shows the late summer colours of fireweed and yellow barley flare in valleys north of Canada`s Dawson City.
Diverse flora and fauna make the area a favourite for hikers and the mountains also contain rich gold and uranium.
Photos by Whitehorse, Yukon Ken Quong for the CG January-February 2007 edition titled "Flight Path" shows swans in flight. The most common of the three species of swans found in Canada, tundra swans fly the winter to California and return to the Arctic in May.
Another photograph in the exhibition is a 1999 photo of a womens` sprint race at the almost 1.9 million square kilometers, Nunavut the largest territory in Canada. The territory came into being on April 1, 1999 and impromptu ceremonies sprang up at settlements throughout the territory to celebrate the new creation.
In 1970, dog teams were most common transportation means in the Arctic. Speed, strength and endurance were necessary characteristics of the dogs. Today, most dog sledding is done for recreational purposes. A picture of one such dogsled features in the showcase.
Another photograph shows the world`s largest land omnivore, an adult polar bear surveying the horizon. Studied equally by scientists and Inuit hunters, the bears are under increasing pressure as the Arctic warms.
There are also photos of navigational markers, food caches and cultural symbols. Stone markers have long been in use in the Arctic, where natural landmarks are scarce. In recent years, workers in northern parks have had to dismantle inuksuit created by campers and hikers so that the actual markers for trails and food caches would remain clear.
"Accessible Arctic" is the first project to be showcased under "World Wednesday", the latest property of High Street Phoenix, which aims to showcase various cultures of the world.
After July 7, the exhibit is scheduled to also travel to three other locations including the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.